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5 festive mate date ideas in Newcastle and beyond via the Metro

We’re talking quirky Christmas shopping spots, cosy alpine bars and fun festive donuts.

Written by Rachael Nichol
Published 09.12.2023

Mate dates, the unsung heroes of our social lives, offer a casual escape and the therapy we didn’t know we needed – the gift that really keeps on giving.

During the most wonderful time of the year, our mate dates get an extra sprinkle of magic with festive cheer and merry memories.

But navigating Christmas traffic? No thanks! Hop on the Metro for a hassle-free journey to your festive rendezvous – affordable, quick, and stress-free.

We’ve unwrapped a bundle of festive mate date ideas in Newcastle and beyond, ensuring your days will be merry and bright during the build-up to Christmas.

HLN TOP TIP: We recommend getting a  Pop Pay As You Go card as it’s the most cost-effective way to get around with travel cheaper than single and day tickets and capped to ensure you never pay too much.

Tynemouth surf cafe

A COSY COASTAL CHRISTMAS DATE

Nearest Metro station: Tynemouth

Walking distance: 6 minutes 

Looking for a festive fix and a chance to reconnect with friends? Tynemouth Market inside Tynemouth Metro Station is open every Saturday and Sunday from 9:00am to 3:30pm and is the ultimate Christmas shopping haven. Home to over 150 stalls and street food vans on both sides of the platforms, here you’ll find those one-of-a-kind gifts.

After, take a brisk stroll along Tynemouth Longsands to blow those cobwebs away, then cosy up with a deluxe hot chocolate topped with all the indulgent goodies at Tynemouth Surf Cafe – perfect for a much-needed Christmas catch-up session.

Keel tavern sunderland

A QUIRKY CHRISTMAS MARKET AND SUNDAY ROAST

Nearest Metro station: Sunderland

Walking distance: 6 minutes

Join the festive fun at Pop Recs, Sunderland’s go-to spot for coffee, music, and community vibes. Don’t miss their first Christmas Market on 16th December. Explore a treasure trove of local goodies, from art and ceramics to decorations, beer, jewellery, candles, clothes, and delicious bites from Sonny’s Cafe.

For a stylish sip, swing by Keel Tavern, Sunderland’s newest bar. Indulge in craft beers and hearty pub grub in a chic setting. Sundays bring the talk-of-the-town Sunday lunch and an exclusive homemade, slow-cooked pie menu that lets you customise your fillings for the ultimate in cosy comfort food.

Northern Lights Newcastle

A CLASSIC GEORDIE CHRISTMAS MATE DATE

Nearest Metro station: Haymarket

Walking distance: 12 minutes

Get ready for a dazzling winter wonderland at the new Northern Lights Christmas Trail at Leazes Park. Wrap up warm and go on a mile-long stroll through enchanting parkland, adorned with jaw-dropping illuminations and immersive visuals as you catch up with your bestie.

And the festive fun doesn’t stop there. Head to Fenwick’s window for a classic Newcastle Christmas sight, followed by a cosy visit to Moosenwirt, an alpine bar inside a tipi. Sip on mulled wine by the warm fire pits, hire a luxury igloo or lodge (they are perfect for the ‘gram), and make special memories in the heart of the city.

Big Fat Donut Co Christmas donuts

A CULTURED CHRISTMAS DAY WITH SPRINKLES ON TOP

Nearest Metro station: Gateshead

Walking distance: 6 minutes

When we thought that donuts couldn’t get any better, just take a look at the Big Fat Donut Co.’s festive donuts. Begin your mate date on a sweet note with options like festive Homer, featuring red vanilla icing and festive sprinkles, snowman with white chocolate fudge icing, coconut, and raspberry jam filling, and gingerbread with OG glaze, gingerbread buttercream, and a cute little Gingerbread man.

Then how about a festive show at The Glasshouse International Centre for Music? From classic Christmas music of The Snowman in Concert to Christmas carols played by one of the world’s most classical musicians, at Alexis Ffrench ‘Christmas Piano’, enjoy getting into the festive spirit.

HLN TOP TIP: Did you know you get free travel when you display your Glasshouse ticket when using the Metro – it would be rude not to.

The Factory Kitchen festive afternoon tea

A DAY OF WHOLESOME URBAN FESTIVE FUN

Nearest Metro station: Manors

Walking distance: 7 minutes

Experience festive bliss on a mate date at The Biscuit Factory—a haven for all things Christmas. Dive into a gift shop brimming with unique treasures. Indulge in The Factory Kitchen’s delectable Christmas afternoon tea featuring honey-glazed pigs in blankets, pork, apple, and sage sausage rolls, and cherry and almond scones.

Post-retail therapy, cosy up by the warm fireplace at The Ship Inn for a pint. Make it a day of merriment, unique finds, culinary delights, and the comforting warmth of good company.

For more information on tickets and offers and to check the full Metro map and timetable, visit Metro’s website.

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